I was confusing care with treatment

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“I was confusing care with treatment”

A post with that in the middle is worth a read.  Confusing “care” and “treatment” – and this from a qualified practicing professional?

“People who we had believed weren’t able to speak started speaking,” Thomas said.

This post is about one working with older folks-dementia.  That familiar “the lights are on but no one’s home”  fear which many have at some point:  Will that happen to me? … Will I die to those I love before I die? …  Will I know those I love will still love me?  …  How will that happen? …  How does that work?

The title of the post … “Making lives meaningful in old age”, Otrazhenie … is too specific for me.

Smacks of function and form.

“Meaningful” suggests value is only found in contributing, in functioning as we expect (whatever that means).

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But “I was confusing care with treatment” applies to me and how I live with others right now.  Not as a qualified professional but as a human being amongst human beings.  As one who is the same more than I am different.  One who needs no qualifications to “meet you where YOU are”.

One whose “qualifications” can often get in the way.

Confusing care with treatment is something I do right now every day: “You have a problem, let me fix it … You look distracted, let me refocus you …. You are bored, well get off your butt and start living again … You just want to be “heard” – that’s it? .… You don’t want to talk about it – well I can’t help you then … Open up to me – I am on your side … How dare you treat me like that – you make it hard for me to love you … I think you owe me an apology!”

I confuse care with treatment fixing things.

Fixing things is what we do: “Problem, solution, outcome … Don’t thank me – it’s what I do!” And we move on to the next problem.  And where there are no problems to fix we I so often find one: “Are we really as happy as we should be … We seem to be plateauing here … We don’t talk like we used to talk … Are you bored with me us?”

“They laughed their butts off,” Thomas said…. They were so patently incompetent that most everyone dropped their guard and simply pitched in – the residents included… “

Being qualified in God is accepted as a calling, a vocation, a necessary step into being a pastor, a shepherd, a priest , a vicar a minister – one able to lead (those who want to be led).  But what about those who don’t.  Who see no reason or need to be “led” from a Lost World of sin and depravity to a “woke” world of salvation and service?  A world wherein burden and sacrifice figure highly.  Where “fitting-in” becomes even more important than before.  Where “treatment” of the lost soul takes precedence over “care” of another human being.

Religion trains “treatment” – trains fixing things – trains leading the lost to salvation.

“People who we had believed weren’t able to speak started speaking,” Thomas said.

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We can all speak.  But we are taught to remain silent.  And (if we are being really honest) the training of qualifications in God demand silence.

Demand the leader leads and the led listen.  For what use is a shepherd if the sheep are all over the place?  Isn’t that where the old anecdote about a shepherd breaking the leg of a rebellious flock-member so the rest of the flock can be kept safe comes from … ?

That is “treatment”.

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None of us have to be qualified to be “qualified” …

Love IS the great leveller.

Which is why Love is ALWAYS the greatest of these.

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Wowwwwww!

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We fight so much over the bible and whether what we believe is correct or incorrect.

We fight so much over the wonderful gift we have been given.

We fight over this so much we create it a problem.

We then attack each other with “love” because of this problem we have created.

And in the process make “love” a problem too.

And we waste so much.

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Cruising Facebook as you do I came across this video.

It has overlaid slushy music.  It has the “inspirational” tag.  

Yet the ordinary extraordinary ordinary human being at the heart of this video …

This ordinary human being who never mentions the bible or God or all that stuff we fight about …

That we make a problem …

That we can’t forgive …

… … … 

One word:

Wowwwwww!

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(see what you think)

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Thanks –

paulfg

 

Become childlike

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Just like anything in the bible – I can ask of that statement many questions:  what age is “childlike” … what culture … what social demographic … what educational level … what time and place … does ALL THAT apply to me or not … ?

And isn’t that the main reason we interrogate the bible:  Does that apply to me or can I ignore it?

Become childlike.

If my definition of “childlike” is of a spoiled brat always wanting and manipulating others to get their own way – then I think I am missing something profound.

Likewise, if my definition of “all that” requires the evidence and correctness to allow myself to be instructed to comply – I am missing something profound and simple and commonsense.

Like Love. 

Without condition.

Become childlike.

Is the essence of something simple.

Something beyond “innocence” – beyond “youth” – beyond “education” – beyond “naivety”.   Beyond all those “conditions” we surround ourselves with (as barriers to the perceived vulnerability of Love without Condition being childlike).

But isn’t “childlike” to have no vulnerability – to be unsurrounded (by all the stuff we surround ourselves with)?

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I am prone to facial spots.

A teenage affliction – not a “six-decader” affliction.  It marks me out(!!) – colleagues and family and friends … their eyes are irresistibly drawn to look/glance/away.

We mature grown-ups cannot help but be drawn to impediment and/or difference.

But it isn’t the glance.

It is the absence of anything but the glance.

And in the absence are the conditions:

I mustn’t mention this or I’ll be seen to be rude.  I’ll ignore this impediment and/or difference and pretend I haven’t noticed.  We’ll continue as if there is no impediment and/or difference – even though we both know there is.

Childlike?

Children don’t even notice or if they do they ask, “What’s that?”  And I answer – it’s a spot.  And they say “Oh.”  And that’s the end of it.  The impediment and/or difference is no longer even visible to them.

It no longer registers.

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Isn’t that what we all seek from love?

The unconditional de-registering to all the impediments and/or differences we all carry through life?   Our scars, weaknesses, preferences, blemishes, strengths that become liabilities, good stuff that becomes tarnished through living, bad stuff that becomes our self-defence responses –

Isn’t Love someone who doesn’t register any of that stuff to see the real me inside?

Like a child.

A child doesn’t register if I am rich or poor, handsome or ugly, competent or fearful, bigoted or inclusive, gay or hetero, religious or atheist … But a child knows if I am happy or sad, angry or calm, ill or healthy, connecting or withdrawn, fun or boring … And THOSE “registers” are immediate AND immediately reversible …

Because in the moment is what I am.

Nor is that connection tarnished in them as in our accumulated “baggage of living”.

Children are blind to so much we are not.

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So too the bible.

Bible-blind is not to dismiss the bible – but to embrace the bible in the moment.  Is not to find a counter argument.  Is not to research what is correct and what is not.  Is not to find what I must do – what I can avoid doing – what I must defend as incorrect – what I must defend as correct.  That is not the bible-blind I am becoming.   The bible-blind I am becoming is to see Love always.   To see imagery – poetry – parables – religion doing what religion must – and not let it register over and above Love.

And I have come to think that we are all bible-blind …  like this –

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“I am biblically AND scripturally correct!”

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Is also bible-blind.

Just a grown-up educated qualified institutionally correct conditional blindness to Love.

And whichever blindness we choose or allow – we will find the “evidence” and “fact” and “truth” and “correctness” in the same bible.

Because just as Love does not instruct but invites and desires – so too the bible.

Just as You have seen it written but I say … ” 

Just as in every moment we have a choice to allow or to disallow.

To Love with condition (which ain’t Love) or without (which is).

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Become childlike.

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Isn’t that the same as …

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“The greatest of these is … “?

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The perfect time to walk the walk and talk the talk

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Hey Jesus, will you be attending tomorrow’s media focus meeting?  We have a few issues needing your input.  No biggie if you can’t – we are well-versed (guffaw!) in what needs to be done – but might be nice if you showed your face to the troops on the ground … the personal touch always makes a difference.

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Here in the UK we are in the middle of the latest election campaign.  All the main parties are making all the usual pledges and plans and “promises”.  All of which may or may not be acted upon come the result and the future “plans, pledges and promises” once the dust settles.

I remember the amazement when Trump acted upon the pre-election rhetoric of “The Wall”.  WOW!  A politician who’s actually doing what he said he would do!  Revolutionary!

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And that other conversation – if Jesus was around today would he be using social media to get the message out?  Would he – like Trump – spend his evenings/early mornings not in prayer, but in twitting.  Firing out policy and process to a global audience well-trained to salivate at each bunch of limited characters.  An audience trained to applaud or puke.  But whatever your response – we’re all are in awe of “the reach”!  The numbers.  The size of the audience.  The absence of anonymity.  Of our inability to ignore the man and his pronouncements.

God would had to have had some of that (we say with envy)!

Make disciples of all nations?

Jesus would have done that in a heartbeat if we had twitter back then!  Imagine all the Insta feeds!  All those “little children” pics and storyline!  That would have got the message out ….  Instead of the dusty peeps we would have the techno peeps!  All heads-down with micro-targeting!  Bringing the message in just the right way to just the right people!  Just like pyramid-selling … One disciple makes XXX believers … XXX believers make XX disciples … makes XXXX believers … makes XXX disciples makes …

Numbers are so much easier to work with than all that “campaign-trail-anecdotal-stuff” (we call the Gospels today).

I am not so convinced Jesus would have.

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My reasoning?

If the Son of God picked the perfect time to walk the walk, talk the talk, and be The Man amongst his creations … why then? Why not now?

Why NOT hold back the eternity of infinity for another 2000 years – a mere drop in the ocean of time that is eternity?  Why then when even “reading and writing” was a biggie … when even carrier pigeons hadn’t been invented … when civil rights – human rights – were not on the agenda … when social housing and social equality – inclusion and inclusivity – were not even a pipe-dream …

Why THEN?

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If that was the perfect time – then I accept that was the perfect time.

Which implies big numbers … big data … global reach … all that “Great Commission” logistics “stuff” run by money even today … perhaps that is not “it”.

Perhaps it’s not “how many I bring” to Him.  Perhaps it’s something else.

Perhaps it’s all about me – who I am – what I am – who I have become – who I can become – who I choose to be – what I choose to be.  Perhaps my one insignificant drop in this vast ocean of humanity (over all eternity) does matter.

Perhaps I am the reason for all of this.

Not in what I tweet, not in what I preach, not in how many I bring (or don’t) … but in MY journey – MY choices – MY decisions – MY relationships – MY living and MY loving.

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Because the “campaign trail” notes (we call the Gospels) that I read are not about global reach – but about those who sought-out (rather than those who were sought-after).

So I question whether Jesus today would reach for his smartphone in the dead of night and fire off some “global reach” message.  I think we would find him as we journeyed our own lives one day at a time – one bumping into one someone at a time.  And come to think about …

That’s pretty much how it still happens today.

(isn’t it?)

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It’s just no one can see it anymore

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Over at justmebeingcurious today …

“Love conquers death.  Love conquers a hard-heart.  Love’s the first and last thing we each know – whether by love’s presence OR by love’s absence.”

As we say at Church Set Free: Love is always the answer.

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“When were you last at confession?  When were you last at church?  When did you last read the bible?  When did you last pray to God the Father?  When did you last give?  When did you last … “

As we say in church.

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This Sunday, why not spend a few minutes with

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Dearly beloved …

As we gather here today …

 

 

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Thank you,

Paul

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What is a disciple?

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“Was being saved a good thing, Paul?

At the time – yes. It connected me with something bigger.  It connected me with something eternal. It connected me with …

“It” – you use the word “it”. Is that all this is?

Is that all I am – “it”?

At the time no – but since … yes.”

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What is a disciple?

I was taught that once I was saved I could be many things one of which was to be a disciple.

I was taught that I was a follower, a replicator, an evangelist (in the true sense of the word), someone in touch with their unique spiritual gifts … an apprentice mini-me Jesus.  Never to attain the perfection of the real thing – but on a lifelong journey to come as close as I could.  It all sounded so terribly complicated, so much like work, so much like a group activity – a community of disciples all …

“Discipling”.

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“And now?

And now you are you and I am me – and I Am describes it all – and Love IS the greatest of all – and this is all so simple – if I allow. 

I am no different.  Just free to be me without all the self-imposed fitting-in-constraints of both culture AND religion.

And what of the future and getting to heaven?

What of it?”

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And now I find it less about community and more about one day at a time – one moment at a time – one now merging with forever – merging this world with something bigger – merging me with all – about (perhaps) heaven … right now … right here … no complication required … no work required …

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“And what about life after being saved?

No different than anything else.  Being saved becomes another it.

Because I am who I am every moment.

If I allow.”

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See the full post at:

On being saved and life thereafter

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We are creators with rights

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Love is the answer, now what’s your question.

What is grace … ?
What is forgiveness … ?
What is being saved … ?
What is church … ?
What is spiritual growth … ?
Who is God … ?
Who is Jesus … ?
What is the Holy Spirit … ?
Where is God … ?
Why is God … ?

To all of those my answer is Love.

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But what about the “blame God” questions?

Why do people die … ?
Why do people get sick … ?
Why do people do bad things … ?
Why does God let bad things happen … ?

My answer is that Love allows.

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Allows me to decide what I will do, will think, will respond, will change or not.

Imagine living forever – never dying.

  This world is struggling to support our capacity for longevity and for curing more and more ills.

Imagine if we all lived forever and could never have children, could never create new life, could never live free to be who we are: creators.  Where is the love in that self-centred desire for eternal life here on this earth?  There is no “freedom” in that anymore than there is “freedom” in death.

My answer is that Love allows.

Allows bad things to happen.  Decisions and actions dictated by me.  My choice.  My freedom to be who I am.

“The poor will always be with you.”

Imagine being so rich in happiness that sadness was impossible.  I would be poor in empathy and connection with others.  I would be regarded as odd – up my own backside – out of touch with the real world.

“My dog died.”
Wow! I am so happy for you!

“My mother is very ill.”
Oh dear, but I have two tickets for (this highly prized event) isn’t that just too wonderful for words?

“I can’t pay my bills this week – I don’t know what to do.”
Well never mind, I have just booked and paid for the holiday of a lifetime – can’t you be happy for me?

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Only “good stuff”

Insulates and emasculates.

Love allows.  Allows me to be free of having to be something I say I should be.  Allows me to be free of having to be something you say I should be.  Allows each of us to be free to be who we are, who we were, and who we will be.  Happy, sad, rich, poor, healthy and ill, living and dying.   I think “bad stuff” is our expectation that we should be above life itself.  We are not only creators – we are creators with rights – the right to be above “bad stuff”.

Every shooter wants to be free of “bad stuff” – the bad stuff seen or experienced or heard or seen – bad stuff of their created reality and those who think like them.  A reality that motivates and validates taking life.  Makes killing a good thing.

Just as we kill perfectly good relationships because the grass is greener … kill goodness in others by giving them our anger or pain … kill honesty and integrity bit-by-bit with every “no one will notice – no one will see” …  kill Love with “I have rights” – that starts with one tiny baby-step – but allows a journey only we decide. 

Cancer.  Tumours.  Infections.  Superbugs.

We have rights – the right to be above bad stuff we call “unfair” … “too soon” … “why me” … “why this” … “why does no one care” … “why does no one fix this?

Because we are creators and we have rights.

The right to be above life itself.

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And maybe that is why Jesus.  A real-life or a parable-life – I care not.

I care only that this Creator – this all-knowing-all-seeing-all-controlling “God” who we created – a creation not above life as we know it here on earth – is not a Creator who has rights – is not a Creator who fixes everything (and everyone) with a magic-wand – but who meets me where I am because that is Love – meets me if I allow because that is Love.

A Creator – we created – who is Love not magic – who has all the time in the world for me – who is not a Creator of a tight-ship/tight-schedule who can give-you-two-minutes-tops.

A Creator – we created – who is of Love allowing all – who is not of “I-have-rights”.

I think blame is not Love – not our created Creator-God.

Because if we created this God of the Bible (and we did) … a God not above life on earth … not of “What About Me” … not of all that stuff we think is Love but is self-created in “I have rights” …

Then we created something truly wonderful

Because we created this God who is Love

We allowed our best-self to be our template for best-living

If we allow.

“Love is the answer, now what’s your question?”

Is us

And that IS

Phenomenal!

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